tv 20th Anniversary of the 1996 Welfare Law CSPAN August 28, 2016 3:15pm-6:01pm EDT
benefits but was very unpopular on both sides of the aisle. the assistance people received was scarce and not enough for people to survive on. if they went to work and began making more money, they would no longer be eligible for benefits. >> bill clinton in 1992, campaigning on ending welfare as the bill is not signed until almost 40 years later. what accounts for that? office, henton took did immediately take action on the issue of poverty. he worked with congress to pass annex -- and of the earned income tax credit. this was a popular and effective program that is often forgotten about in discussions of welfare and it a in that time in the country's history.
it is a tax credit that people with low incomes receive as a kind of bonus for working, the more they earn, the larger the tax credit up to a certain point. then that, clinton and first lady hillary clinton were engaged in a deeply divisive with congress and the american people in general that the future of the health care system. clinton's efforts to reform health care at the time failed, so the white house was occupied with health care at the time. and then in 1995, a new congress was inaugurated. this congress was controlled by republicans. that led to a year and a half of haggling between republicans and congress and the white house over what kind of welfare reform would ultimately be enacted. eventually in the summer of 1996, almost 20 years ago to the day, clinton signed the welfare reform bill.
>> that bill was signed in 1996. what were some of the key changes it made in the welfare system? max: i think the most important change is that welfare can no longer be taken for granted. people who were receiving federal cash assistance either had to be working, looking for a job, or they had to be engaged in some vocational training program. after the bill was enacted, it was impossible for anyone in the country to receive welfare without doing something related to work. either working, or putting themselves in the position where they could find a job. in that sense, clinton did fulfill his hamas to and welfare as we know it. in the old system, people could receive cash benefits from the federal government, and the requirements for working were much less stringent.
>> here we are 20 years later in 2016. what has been the impact of those changes over time? max: that's a difficult question to answer because of course, during the clinton administration, american society was changing in other ways. for example, there was a changing perception around whether or not women should stay at home with their children, or whether or not they should go to work, as well as fulfilling the duty of motherhood. many women were going to work,
who had not worked before. also, the economy was doing very well. this strong economy gave women an additional reason to go to work. the number of women -- i should say the number of unmarried women who were participating in the labor force increased from about 53% in 1991 to a most 76% in 2000. it was a dramatic and abrupt shift, and it was partly due to these changes in the economy and society, but it was also due to the changes in the law. the law required people to work if they wanted to receive federal cash assistance. another important effect that the law has had has been on different kinds of people who are living in poverty. for people who were able to find full-time work after the law was passed, the fact that the armed income tax credit had been expanded meant that their wages were supplemented with a tax credit from the federal government. they were much better off financially than similarly situated people were before clinton and acted his poverty policies, including the tax credit and the welfare reform bill. people who were not able to fulfill the new requirements for work and training and searching for employment that the new law created, generally found themselves worse off.
there is evidence that poverty became narrower as a result of clinton's reforms, but it also became deeper. those who remained in poverty were more in dire straits. >> president bill clinton's efforts to change welfare programs dated back to his days as arkansas governor. following the republican takeover of congress in 1994, president clinton delivered a
state of the union address where he repeated his desire to, "and welfare as we know it or go." president clinton: nothing has done more to undermine our sense of common responsibility than our fellow -- failed welfare system. this is one of the problems we have to face here in washington. it undermines family values. it lets millions of parents get away without paying their child support. it keeps a minority, but a significant minority of the people on welfare trapped on it for a very long time. i have worked on this problem for a long time -- nearly 15 years. as a governor, i had the honor of working with the reagan administration to write the last welfare reform bill back in 1988.
in the last two years, we made a good start with continuing to work on welfare reform. our administration gave two dozen states the right to slash through federal rules and regulations, to reform their own welfare systems and try to promote work and responsibility of their welfare dependency. last year, i introduced the most sweeping welfare reform plan ever presented by an administration. we have to make welfare what it was meant to me, a second chance, not a way of life. we have to help those on welfare moved to work as quickly as possible. provide childcare and teach them skills if that is what they need. after that, there ought to be a simple rule, anyone who can work must go to work. [applause] president clinton: if a parent isn't paying child support, they should be forced to pay. [applause]
president clinton: we should suspend drivers license, track them across state lines, make them work off what they own. governments do not raise children, people do, and the parents must take responsibility for the children they bring into this world. [applause] president clinton: i want to work with you, with all of you, to pass welfare reform. our goal must be to liberate people and lift them up. from welfare to work. from your childbearing to responsible parenting. al gore should not be to punish them because they happen to be poor. [applause] -- our goal should not be to punish them because they happen to be poor. [applause] president clinton: we should not cut people off just because they're poor, young, or unmarried. we should promote responsibility
by requiring young mothers to live at home with their parents or other supervised settings. by requiring them to finish school, but we should not put them and their children out on the street. [applause] president clinton: i know all the arguments, pro and con, and i have thought about this for a long time. i still do not think we can punish poor children for the mistakes of their parents. [applause] president clinton: my fellow americans, every single survey shows that all the american people care about this. let this be the year we end welfare as we know it, but also let this be the year that we are all able to stop using this
issue to divide america. no one is more eager to and welfare. [applause] president clinton: i may be the only president who has actually had the opportunity to sit in the welfare office. who has actually spent hours talking to people on welfare. i am telling you, the people who are trapped on it know it does not work. they also want to get off. we can promote together education and work and good parenting.
i have no problem with punishing bad behavior for the refusal to be a worker or student. i just don't want to punish poverty and past mistakes. all of us have made our mistakes. none of us can change our yesterdays, but everyone of us can change our tomorrows. [applause] >> you are watching c-span's special program marking the 20th anniversary of the 1996 welfare law. president clinton vetoed two welfare bills before signaling his support for a third piece of legislation in 1996. it passed the house with overwhelming support from republicans. 328-101. the senate vote was 78-21. here is a look at the debate that took place in the days leading up to the final passage.
>> mr. speaker, sadly it seems clear that the house will abdicate its moral duty and knowingly vote to allow children to go hungry in america. sadly, our president, a member of the democratic party will sign this bill. does this bill allocate sufficient funds to provide employment for people who want to work? no. does this bill provide adequate childcare so people can leave their parents -- children in a safe environment? no. does this insure that people with welfare can take their kids to a doctor? no. does this do anything to raise wages so people can work hard and not see their children grow up in poverty? no. does this reduced the value of the stamps for children to push these children into poverty and hunger? yes. i know that scapegoating poor children is politically popular
this year, but it is not right. we must stand up for our country's children. i urge my colleagues to reject this immoral legislation. >> the gentleman from florida. >> i had two minutes to the gentleman from georgia. >> the gentleman from georgia is recognized for a. of two minutes. >> mr. speaker, the bill we are considering today is a bad though. i will vote against it and i urge all people of conscience to vote against it. it penalizes children for the action of their parents. this bill will put one million more children into poverty. how can any person of conscience vote for a bill to puts one million markets into poverty?
where is the compassion? where is the heart of this congress? this bill is mean. it is downright low-down. we are a great nation, but to the man on the moon -- as a nation and as a people, as a government, we met our challenges, and we won. this bill gives up. it throws in the towel. we cannot run away from our challenges and our
responsibility. this is not the character of a great nation. i ask you, mr. speaker, what does it cost a great nation to cover the world, only to lose its soul? this is an abandonment of morality. it is wrong. it was hubert humphrey who said -- now children, those in the sickght of life, and those and feeble, what we are doing here today is wrong. i say to all of you my colleagues, you have the ability, you have the capacity, you have the power. -- >> theustments gentleman's time is expired. >> raise your voice for the poor and the disabled. vote no.
>> the gentleman will suspend. >> mr. speaker i come over here to do something i have never done before, and that is to trespass on the democrats side. meope that you will give your understanding in my doing so because i don't do out of smugness or arrogance, i do out of coming together. we have heard a lot of names calling. a lot of soundbites we have heard. we have come down a long road together. that theevitable present welfare system was going to be put behind us. need to bring to closure an era of a failed welfare system. i know that the democrats agree with the republicans. this is not a republican bill we are shutting down your throats.
we are going to get a lot of democrats support today. the larger the support the more chance there is for this to really work. to the degree of the success we have is going to be a victory for the american people. it is time for us to put our hand out to one another and to come together to solve the problems of the poor. without vision the people will perish. unfortunately we would not have vision and our welfare system now for many years. it has been allowed to sit stagnant. layere piled layer upon upon humanity and each other. we pay people not to get married , we pay people not to work. this is self-destructive behavior.
we all agree with that. , manye heard many spirits speakers, thinking we are going the wrong way. some of my colleagues have fought for different changes within the welfare bill, within the human resources. this is a perfect bill i can say and stand here and say it is not a perfect bill. it is as good as we can come together. how they feel that they can be successful. we talked to many members on the democrats side. we have another long road ahead of us. we need to get to make technical
corrections bill as we see problems arise in this bill that we are going to be passing today. it was unexpected to hear that the president was going to a known -- going to endorse this. let's now be patient with each other, let's work with each other. >> thank you mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to the bill. if this bill passes today it will be a victory for the political spin artist and a defeat for the children of america. we all agree that the welfare system must be reformed, but we must make sure that reform reduces poverty, not by bashing poor people but i have a real reform. this bill will diminish the quality of the life of children and poor families in america and will have a devastating impact on the economy of our city. result ints will
increased hunger. local government will be forced to pay for the federal government's abdication of responsibility. how can a country as great as america ignored the needs of america's children who are born into poverty? the bible tells us that to minister to the needs of god's children is an act of worship. to ignore those needs is to dishonor the god who made them. mr. speaker, let's not go down that path today. thank you, mr. speaker. >> the gentleman from florida. >> mr. speaker, i got the balance of my time to the distinguished german of the budget committee, mr. kasich. >> the gentleman from ohio is acknowledged. >> i would like to congratulate the gentleman from florida for his relentlessness in being able to pursue welfare reform. he do it -- he deserves the lions share of credit. although i don't see him on the floor, a very able staff
director who has lived with this bill -- he has lived with this for about a decade, feeling passionately about the need to reform welfare. it was pretty amazing to watch the president of the united states come on television and say he was going to sign this welfare bill. the reason why it is so amazing today is that because the american people, during all of my adult lifetime, have said that they wanted a system that will help people who can't help themselves, but they want a system that is going to ask the able-bodied to get out and begin to work themselves. this has been delayed and put off and a million excuses as to why we could not get it done. i want to suggest to my friends who are in opposition -- i respect their opposition. many of them just didn't talk,
many of them were not able to talk as they were beaten in the civil rights protest in this country. i respect their opposition. the simple fact of the matter is this program was losing public support. the cynicism connected to this program from the folks who get up and go to work every day for a living, and i don't mean the most fortunate, i mean those mothers and fathers who have had to struggle for an entire lifetime to make and meet. they have never asked for food stamps. they have never asked for welfare. they have never asked for housing. they are struggling. they don't take the bus. they don't take the transparent -- the transfer because it costs money. these people are becoming cynical. they were being poisoned in regard to the system, and they were demanding change.
we all know as we have watched the history of congress over the decades, that when the american people speak, we must deliver what they want. they said they wanted the vietnam war over. it took a decade, but they got it. public cynicism and lack of support was rising against this program. it was necessary to give the people a program they could support. the american people have never -- if i could be so bold as to represent a point of view -- have never said that those who can't help themselves should not be helped. that is judeo christianity, something that we all know has to be rekindled. our souls must once again become attached to one another. the people in this country said it is a sin not to help somebody who needs help. it is equally is said to help somebody who needs not to learn how to help themselves. i say to my friends who oppose this bill, this is about the
best of us. this is about having hopes and dreams. after 40 or 50 years of not trusting one another in our neighborhoods and having to vacate our power to the central government, this is now about reclaiming our power. it's about reclaiming our money. it's about rebuilding our communities. it's about rebuilding our families. it's about cementing our neighborhoods. it's about believing that all of us can march to that state capital, but all of us can go into the community organizations, and we can demand excellence. we can demand compassion. we can do it better. we marched 40 years ago because we thought people weren't being treated fairly.
we marched today for the very same reason. let me take it back and say many of my friends marched. i was too young, but i watched and i respect it. what i suggest that the end of the day is that we all are going to have to stand up for those who get neglected in reform. frankly, this system will provide far more benefits, far more hope, restore the confidence in the american people that we have a system that will help those that can't help themselves, and at the same time, demand something from able-bodied people who can. it will benefit their children. it will help the children of those who go to work. america is a winner in this. the president of the united states has recognized it. he has joined with this congress. i think we have a bipartisan
effort here to move america down the road towards reclaiming our neighborhoods and helping america. i would say to my friends, we will be bold enough and humble enough when we see mistakes are being made to be able to come back and fix them. let's not let these obstacles stand in the way of rebuilding this program based on fundamental american values. >> for those who say we're not going to provide for those in need. hardly a reduction in expenditures. let me repeat the total programs i have described, food stamps, nutrition, the program for child care, the new blog grant to take the place of
afdc which we will call temporary systems for needy families, all of those programs will seek from the taxpayers of america $700 billion over the next six years. nevertheless, our taxpayers should know that we will save. we will save them about $55 billion for this program in its reformed in and more efficient mode. it will cost $55 billion less and it was assumed -- if we had left everything alone and kept entitlements wherever they were -- i believe much of those savings will come because we are going to do the programs that turf. we are going to push people to do what we should have been doing all along.
it off the rolls and into work. get off dependence into independence. not looking to someone else for responsibility and look to their own responsibility and everywhere we turn in this deal, there are provisions for those who just cannot do it. there are emergency set-asides. emergency allowances. provisions is where just cannot be done to provide some of what must be provided in addition to the basic program. so is one of our very distinguished senators, senator rick santorum for whom i extend my great appreciation for his help on the floor on many occasions during the foodstamp debate on this welfare need. he did a remarkable job. he came to the senate well-informed on the subject. he at one point said, welfare reform has been in and will continue to be a contentious issue. this legislation is tough love,
he said. i concur. but i do not believe there is anything wrong with that either. i have concerns about provisions in this legislation. other members will have their concerns and the president has expressed his. unfortunately or fortunately depending upon your philosophy of governance, it is possible and probable that even the president's signature we have not seen the last of welfare reform. when he has signed it, we will see a completed lot and we will carry it out but probably in due course we will see where there are some areas that need some repair. some fixing. but i believe we should not under any circumstance take a bill that is as much on the right track as this but perhaps -- but perhaps imperfect in other areas, we should proceed. let the reform of a long. for today i believe that the best hope we have is to fulfill
the promise we'll made to the american public to change these programs as we have known them. pass this bill overwhelmingly today. making fundamental changes to programs, some of which are 60 years old. it will surely require adjustments and additional tuning as we begin to see how this legislation unfolds. but for those who seem frightened of this change, and for those who want to find the areas where they have concern, and that might need some repair in the future, i clearly ask is it possible that this reform welfare program can be worse than what we have? i cannot believe it. yesterday after the president announced that he would sign -- >> yesterday after the president announced that he was on his
legislation, i said -- and i quote -- the president has made his decision let us hope it is for the best. today i continue to hope for the best even if i fear for the worst. as i have stated on this floor many times, this legislation does not reform aid for families with dependent children, it simply abolishes it. it terminates the basic federal commitment to support needy children in hopes of -- dependent children in hopes of altering the behavior of their mothers. we're putting those children at risk with absolutely no evidence that this radical idea has even the slightest chance of success. in our haste to enact this bill,
any bill, before the november elections, we have chosen to ignore what little we do know about the subject of poverty. just two days ago on july 30, 11 of the nation's leading researchers in this field issued a statement urging us not to do what we are about to do. among them were seven current and former directors of the institute for research on poverty at the university of wisconsin. this was established in the aftermath of the economic opportunity act of 1964. it is a distinguished -- it has a distinguished history of nonpartisan analytical research in this area.
scholars the stature of sheldon danziger of the university of michigan, irving garfinkel of columbia university, eugene solo in skin of the university of california, edward -- of the university of michigan. i will ask that all of the names and the full statement be printed. >> no objection. >> they wrote, as researchers who have dedicated years to the study of paul -- policy of the labor market and public assistance, we oppose the welfare reform legislation under consideration by the congress. the best available evidence is that this legislation would substantially increase poverty and destitution while doing too little to change the welfare system to one that provides greater opportunity for families in return for demanding greater responsibility.
real welfare reform would not impose deep foodstamp cuts on poor families with children, the working poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed. it would not eliminate the safety net for most poor legal immigrants including the very old and infirm. it would not place at-risk, poor children whose parents are willing to work but unable to work -- to find work -- defined on subsidized employment. it would backup requirements with resources needed to make them effective. it would not back up work requirements with resources needed to make them affect it. we strongly effect an overhaul of the nation's welfare system but passing legislation that would make a troubled welfare system work -- worse. it is not meaningful welfare
reform. it should not become law. >> mr. president, i do want to talk about this piece of legislation. i have heard some discussion about doing good. let me start out with what is a very important to framework to me at the -- as a senator from minnesota. it is a question. will this legislation if passed and signed into law by the president create more poverty and more hunger among children in america? and if the answer to that
question is yes, then my boat is no false -- that my vote is no. mr. president, we were discussing welfare reform several years ago and we said -- and i think there is unanimous consensus behind this proposition -- that we should move from welfare to work, that that would include job-training, education training, making sure that jobs were available, that single parents -- most of the time others -- could support their children on. a commitment to childcare. just about every single scholar in the united states of america has made the argument that this is what reform is. you have to invest additional resources and then in the medium
run, long run, not only the mothers of the children -- we are all better off. it is real welfare reform. $60 billion in low income assistance is not reform my colleagues. it is punitive, it is harsh, and it is extreme. mr. president, we have been focusing in this congress on the budget deficit. i think today what we see in the united states senate is a serious deficit. because mr. president, i know some of my colleagues do not want to look at this. they turn their gaze away from unpleasant facts.
in an unpleasant reality. sometimes people do not want to know what they do not want to know. but mr. president, the evidence is irrefutable and here reducible. this legislation, once enacted into law, will create more poverty and hunger for children of america and that is not reform! >> let me now turn to talk about welfare because we are going to pass here in the senate tonight a welfare reform bill that cap has the promise -- that has the promise of dramatically changing a system which has failed in america and let me begin by talking about the failure. in the last 50 years, we have spent $5.2 trillion on means-tested programs. that is programs where we were trying to help poor people.
of all buildings, all plants, and all productive tools in -- now nobody knows what $1 trillion is, but the best place --sign the number is to note if you take all the tools in agriculture combined. they are worth about $5 billion. so that if you want to know how much we have invested in the old welfare program, we have invested in the last 50 years roughly the equivalent of the value of all buildings, all plant and equipment, all tools of all workers in the united states of america. no society in history has ever invested more money trying to help needy people billion the united states of america has invested.
and yet, 50 years later, what has been the result of all of those good intentions? what has been the result of that investment? well, the result of that investment 50 years later is that we have more poor people today than when we started that program. they are more poor today than they were when we started. they are more dependent on the government today the end when we started the current welfare program, and by any definition of quality of life, fulfillment or happiness, people are worse off today than they were when we started the current welfare system. when we started the current welfare program, two-parent families were the norm in poor
families in america. today, two-parent families are the exception. when we started the current welfare program, the illegitimacy rate was roughly one quarter of what it is today. i know that we have colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are going to lament the passage of this new welfare reform bill. but i do not see how anybody with a straight face or clear conscience can defend the status quo in welfare. our current welfare program has failed. it has driven fathers out of the household. it has made mothers depended. it has taken away people's dignity.
it has bred child abuse and neglect. it has filled the streets of our cities with crime. we are here today to change that. let me outline what our program does. i think if each of us looks back in our own families, looking to a time when our first ancestors came to america or where our families looking back at those who have gone before us found themselves poor, that we are going to find there are two things that get individuals and that get nations out of poverty. those two things are work and family. and i think it is instructive to note that in the last 50 years, those are the two things we have never applied to the welfare program of the united states of america. the bill before us asks people to work. it says that able-bodied men and women will be required to work in order to receive benefits. it sets a time limit so if people cannot make welfare -- so that people cannot make welfare
a way of life. it seeks to change the incentives -- change the incentives within the welfare of -- within the welfare system. i believe the time has come to change those incentives within the welfare system. so what we have done in adopting this bill is to make some very simple changes. we have said that unless you are disabled, welfare is not a permanent program. it is a temporary program. we are going to help you for up to five years. we are going to train you, but at the end of five years you are going to have to work. we have also in this program given the state the ability to run their own program. we believe that the federal government does not have all of the wisdom and that the states should run their program.
what we have done is give a program -- we have taken a federally run program and we have taken the funding we have spent on that program, and we have given that money to the states, so that rather than having one program, each state in the union can tailor its program to meet its individual need. i believe we have put together a positive program. it is a program that asks people to work. it is a program that tries to make a americans independent. it is a program that for the first time uses work and family to try to help families as kate -- escape welfare and poverty in america. >> the signing ceremony for the welfare law took place on august 22 in the white house rose garden. speakers included little rock, arkansas, resident lili hardin who was invited to the white house to tell her story about
moving from welfare to work. reminder, if you would like to watch this entire event go to c-span.org and search the video library. [applause] >> hello. i live in arkansas. i am here to tell you about how much getting off assistance and getting a job meant to me and my children and how proud i am of my family. what my family has a compass. -- what my family has accomplished. in 1981, after being laid off my job, i spent two years on assistance. i had three children. had to take care of them with $282 a month. i was pushed to really get back to work. i enrolled in a project. one of governor clinton's programs in arkansas. the program taught me how to present myself to get the job i wanted. two months later after training,
i got my first job interview. i have been working ever since. at my first job i was a cook, i went from there to manager. i took good care of my children to make sure there was always food on the table and a roof over their heads. having a job gave me a chance to get involved in schools and focus on a good education. when i got my job, my son was so proud of me but i made a deal with him. i told him, i am going to work every day and take my work seriously. he needs to go to school every day and take school seriously. and he did just that. today he is married with two children. he has a job in a hospital in oak harbor, washington.
another goes to the university of arkansas and he is going to be a doctor. my daughter graduated school with a 4.0. she is at the university of arkansas pine bluff studying to be a computer system engineer. my youngest is in the fourth grade and she has been on the honor roll every year just like her big sister was. i am so proud of them and now i want to introduce everyone the man who started my success and the beginning of my children's future. the president of the united states, bill clinton. [applause] president clinton: thank you very much.
[applause] president clinton: thank you very much. lillie, thank you. thank you mr. vice president, thank you congress, i would like to say i am glad to see you here because eight years ago about this time, when you are the governor of delaware and you and i were together at a signing like this. thank you senator long before -- senator long for coming here. thank you to other governors and i would also like to thank the penelope howard and janet pharrell for coming here.
those who of work their way from love for to independence, we're happy and honored to have them here. i would like to thank all of the people who worked on the bill who have been introduced from our staff and cabinet but i would also like to especially thank bruce reed who did a lot with working on the signing to -- working on the final compromises of this bill. i thank him. lillie harden was up here talking and i want to tell you how she happens to be here today. 10 years ago governor kassel and i were asked to cochair a governors task force on welfare reform and we were asked to work together on an and we met at hilton head in south carolina and had a panel. 41 governors showed up to listen to people who were on welfare from several states. so i asked carol rasco to find me somebody from our state who
had been in one of our welfare reform programs and who had gone to work. and she found lillie harden and lillie showed up at the program. i would was at this program and i committed a mistake lawyers tell you never do ask. never ask a question they tell you not -- you do not know the answer to. but she was doing so well and i asked her the question, what is the best thing. and she said, when my boy goes to school and someone says what is your mother do for a living, what is your answer? i have never forgotten that. [applause] president clinton: and when i saw the success of all of her children and the success she is had in the last 10 years, i can tell you that you had a bigger impact on me than i have on you
and i thank you for the power of your example and for all of america. [applause] president clinton: what we are trying to do today is to overcome the flaws of the welfare system for the people who are trapped on it. we almost the typical family on welfare today is very different from the one that welfare was designed to deal with 60 years ago. we all know there are a lot of good people on welfare who just get off of it in the ordinary course of business but a significant number of people are trapped on welfare for a very long time. exiling them from the entire community of work that give structure to our lives. nearly 30 years ago, robert kennedy said, work is the meaning of what this country is all about. we need it as individuals. we need to sense it in our fellow citizens and we needed as
a people. he was right then and it is right now. from now on, our nations in answer to this great social challenge will not be a never-ending cycle of welfare. it will be the dignity, the power, into the ethic of work. today we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be -- a second chance. not a way of life. the bill i am about to sign, as i have said many times, is far from perfect but it has come a very long way. congress sent me two previous bills that i strongly believe failed to protect our children and did too little to move people from welfare to work. i vetoed both of them. this bill had broad bipartisan support and is much, much better on both counts. the new bill restores america's basic bargain of providing opportunity and demanding and return responsibility. it provides $14 billion for child care. $4 billion more than the present
law does. it is good because without the assurance of childcare, it is all but impossible for a mother with young children to go to to work. it requires states to maintain their on spending on welfare reform and give some powerful -- and gives them powerful performance incentives to place more people on welfare in jobs. it gives states the capacity to create jobs by taking money now used for welfare checks and giving it to employers as subsidies, as incentives to hire people. this bill will help people to go to work so they can stop drawing a welfare check and start drawing a paycheck. it is also better for children. it preserves the national safety net of food stamps and school lunches. it drops the deep cuts and devastating changes in child protection, adoption, and help for disabled children. it preserves the national guarantee of health care for poor children, the disabled, the
elderly, and people on welfare. the most important preservation of all. it includes the child support enforcement measures that as far as i know, every member of congress and every one in the administration and every thinking person in the country has supported for more the into years now. it is the most sweeping back down on deadbeat parents in history. we have succeeded in increasing child support collection 40%. but over a third of the cases involved where there are involve people -- there are the link when sees involve people who cross state lines. for a lot of women and children, the only reason they are on welfare today, the only reason, is because the father walked away when he could've made a contribution to the welfare of the children. that is wrong. if every parent paid the child support that he or she owes legally today, we could move a hundred thousand women and children off welfare immediately. with this bill we say if you do
not pay the child support, we will garnish your wages, take away your drivers license, tracking across state lines, make you pay what you well. it is a good thing and it will help to medically reduce welfare, increase -- and increase parental responsibility. [applause] president clinton: as the vice president said, we strongly disagree with a couple provisions of this bill. we believe that the nutritional cuts are too deep, especially as they affect low income working people and children. we should not be punishing people working for a living, we should be doing everything we can to lift them up, keep them at work and help them to support their children. we also believe that the cook -- the congressional leadership insisted on cuts for immigrants that are far too deep. these cuts of nothing to do with the fundamental purpose of welfare reform. i signed this bill because this is a historic change where republicans and democrats got together and said, we are going to take this historic chance to try to re-create the nation's
social bargain with the poor. we're going to change the parameters of the debate. we are going to make an all-new again and see if we can't create a system of incentive which reinforces work and family and independence. we can't change what is wrong. -- we can change what is wrong. we should not have passed this extort opportunity to do what is right -- this historic opportunity to do what is right. so i am going to ask all of you to think through the implications of these other non-welfare issues on the american people. let us work together in good spirit and good faith to remedy what is wrong. we can balance the budget without this that but let's not obscure the fundamental purpose of the welfare provisions of this legislation which are good and solid and will give us at least a chance to end the terrible, almost physical isolation of huge numbers of poor people and their children
from the rest of mainstream america. we have to do that. [applause] let me also say something really good about this legislation. when i signed it, we all have to start again. this becomes everyone's responsibility. after i sign my name, welfare will no longer be a political issue. the two parties cannot attack each other. politicians cannot attack poor people over. there are no entrusted habits, systems and failures that can be laid at the foot of someone else. we have to begin again. this is not the end of welfare reform, this is the beginning. we all have to assume responsibility. [applause]
president clinton: now that we are saying with this book that we expect work, we have to make sure the people have a chance to go to work. if we value work, everyone in the society, individuals, those in government, all have a responsibility to make sure jobs out there. -- the jobs are there. these three women have great stories. almost everybody on welfare would like to have a story like that. the rest of us now have a responsibility to give them that story. we cannot blame the system for the jobs they don't have anymore. if it does not work now, it is everybody's ball. -- it is everybody's fault. mine, yours, everybody else. there is no longer a system in the way. [applause] president clinton: i worked hard over the past four years to create jobs and steer investment into places where there are large numbers of people on welfare because there has been no economic recovery. that is what the community development bank initiative was all about.
that is why the urban brown to cleanup initiative was about. try to give people the means to make a living in areas that were will left behind. let me say again, we have to build a new work and family system. this is everybody's responsibility now. the people on welfare are people just like these three people we honor here today and their families. they are human beings. we only to all of them -- we all it to all of them -- we owe it to all of them to give them a chance to get back. we were working with congressman on a church that had burned. it was a pastor there from the church of north carolina that brought a group of his people in to work. he started asking me about welfare reform. i started telling him about it. i said, you should go tell governor hunt that you would
hire someone on welfare to work on your church if he gives you a welfare check as a way to supplement and you double the pay. keep them employed for a year or so and see if you can train them and help the family and see if the kids are all right. would you do that? he said, in a heartbeat. [applause] president clinton: i think there are people all over america like that. that is what i want you all to think about it. what are we going to do now? this is not over. this is just the beginning. congress deserves our thanks for creating a new reality. we have to fill in the blank. the governors asked for this responsibility. now they have to live up to it. county officials have responsibilities. every employer in this country that ever made a disparaging
remark about the welfare system needs to think about whether he or she should now hire someone from welfare and go to work. go to the state and say, ok, give me the check and i will use it as an income supplement. i will train these people and help them to start their lives. every person who has ever said a disparaging word about the law -- about the welfare system should say, it is gone, what is my responsibility to make it better? [applause] president clinton: two days ago we signed a bill increase in the minimum wage and making it easier for people and small businesses to get pensions. we signed a bill yesterday which makes health care more available to up to 25 million americans. many of them in lower income jobs. the bill i signed today preserve
-- preserves the increase in the earned tax income credit. it is not clearly better to go to work meant to stay on welfare. what we have to do now is make network reality -- make that work a reality. most working families find that the greatest challenge of their lives is how to do a good job raising their kids and do a good job at work. trying to balance work and family is the talent that most -- is the challenge that most americans in the workplace base. thankfully, that is the challenge that lillie harden has had to face. that is what we want for everyone. we want at least a chance to strike the right balance for everybody. today, we are ending welfare as we know it. but i hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began. and you day that offers hope, on -- offers hope, honors responsibility, rewards work and changes the kind of debate so that no one ever feels the need
to criticize people for -- poor on welfare but instead feels a responsibility to reach out to men and women and children who were isolated. who need opportunity to give them the opportunity. [applause] president clinton: i would like to ask penelope howard, janet pharrell, lillie harden, donors and members of congress from both parties who are here to come up and join me as i signed the welfare reform bill -- i sign the welfare reform bill. >> mr. president, before you sign the bill -- [indiscernible] mr. president: i have to wait until the omv make a recommendation. we have to anticipate things.
>> nearly 10 years after the 1996 ultra law was passed, author and journalist jason deparle wrote the book "american dream." at this event from politics and prose bookstore, washington, dc, he tells the story of families trying to comply with the law's work requirements. this portion of the event is 25 minutes. >> the book is called "american dream." it takes the title from an obscure line in clinton's first welfare speech in 1993. i think we all know in our heart of hearts that too many people grow up and never get a shot at the american dream. the book tries to look at why that is and whether this landmark change in the nation's safety net helped or hurt. the first is that clinton in 1991 gave his first welfare
speech. the first time he used the word "end welfare as we know it." the second team that happened is that two women got on a bus in chicago and went to milwaukee in order to get on welfare. is the microphone working? >> mark turned it down too much. >> is that better? ok. they get on the bus and go to milwaukee. milwaukee becomes a place in a country that becomes the first place where it becomes the end welfare capital in the country. the two stories come together. they leave the rolls. they both become full-time study workers.
they brought a third friend from chicago. the story is about three women. their lives on welfare and what happened to them after the new law passed. two of them become full-time steady workers and a third woman was addicted to crack cocaine. i did not know when i met her. she had a sadder story. they're a bunch of elements that we will not have time to talk about the woman to them briefly. one is the -- the three women are cousins. i got interested in the family history. it began when jewel's mother visited her in milwaukee. i asked what i thought was a perfunctory question. tell me where you are from? she looked at me and said, well, jason, i was born on the senators plantation.
back when black people were coming out of slavery. i was born in connecticut. what do you say to that? the name will mean a lot to a few and not much to some of you. he was one of the last segregationists of the south. chairman of the senate judiciary committee and used to walk he had a pocket in his best where all the civil rights bills went to die. is james e glenn just a name she heard or did she know him? it is all true. there are still people in her family living on the east land plantation. it was still in the east land family. i went down there and met her 85 euros great uncle. -- 85-year-old great uncle. they were sharecroppers on the plantation.
it is not just an interesting story. i traced the family history back to slavery. up to chicago where they moved and in milwaukee. it is not just an interesting yarn. i think it is a vital context for understanding what happened to them under welfare and off of welfare. much of the behavior that was blamed on welfare, out of wedlock childbearing, poverty, the concept of dependency, black on black violence, substance abuse, all the things were going on on the plantation. newt gingrich, when he was promising to end welfare for talk about how we cannot sustain civilization with 12-year-olds having babies. it always seems like a piece of gingrich hyperbole. person ias the only
have ever met who had gotten pregnant at 12. she had her baby when she was 13. africa was a context that was left out of the upper debate -- welfare debate in washington. also a part of the book about the privatized social welfare system in milwaukee. they took the city and divided it into six districts with five different private providers. opal was the last one left. she was pregnant and living in a crack house. her caseworkers had no idea she was pregnant or living and eight -- in a crack house. they did a home visit and didn't figure out it was a crack house. they did spent several million dollars on corporate advertising out of welfare funds. they bought golf balls. the company was maximus. a private company that trades on
the new york stock exchange. they took several million dollars and diverted it into corporate promotions. there were caseworkers soliciting sex from the clients. caseworkers demanding kickbacks in exchange for providing benefits. it wasn't the most confidence inspiring example of privatization. it did when an award from harvard and the ford foundation as the best welfare program in the country. [laughter] let me say two short things about why i wrote the book. to satisfy my curiosity. i was very interested in knowing what would happen with this cable with semi millions of people's lives. -- gamble with so many millions of people's lives. and i was hoping to build a constituency with people by bringing them into the conversation.
within the conversation itself, i felt like it was very skewed by a political tone. most policy conversation in washington these days is overly polemical and there are few subjects more polemical than welfare. i do say at the beginning of the book that i was skeptical about the abolition of welfare in the substitution of this new system. concerted and effort as i could to try to put my biases aside. in the hopes that i would be pleasantly surprised. in some ways i was. i tried to challenge my biases in the reporting and writing. mostly i want to talk about angie, who is the main character of the book. as a way of introducing you to her i
angie had a pretty milk chocolate face and her frame carried 150 pounds and the combination could make her look tender were tough depending on her mood. she had never seen milwaukee before and pronounced herself -- pronounce herself unimpressed. irreverence was her religion. she arrived in milwaukee as she moved through the world, half of them camping sentences that would be healed from the station will. absent her humor, the transcript a sound off putting, but her habit of excitable swearing came off as something akin to charm. i just expressed myself accurately, she would left the cascade of off come in -- off color commentary could make her seem like a jaded veteran of get
a life. she had plenty to be jaded about. she grew up on the borders of chicago gangland and her father was drunk. she had a baby straight out of high school and two more quick in succession. the man she loved was in jail. my the time she arrived in milwaukee, she had been on drugs for eight years. her hard face was real but also a mask. her mother worked two jobs to send her to parochial school. she still or traces of the english student. lots of women came to milwaukee for welfare checks. not many needed to have an effort to discern god's will. i'm trying to understand what god wants from me. worried it was too irreverent, she substituted the words world for god and stored the end the nation page in a bag and so high and her closet that she could not reach it with a chair. stories of street fights and she was happy to share but the bag
was so private, hardly anyone new existed. don't you know i like? think your nice, they will take your kindness weakness and that's a side of the i don't want anyone to see. she did not want me to see it. i did not find the bag and she kept a secret journal she opened up to sharing and it made me write an entire chapter about her childhood in which i had asked her a dozen time what is like to be written as a teenager and she repeatedly said it was hoping deal. i wrote out a passage that made her seem unthinking. struggling because my experience of her on the page was not my experience of her in the part -- in person. finally she showed me the journal and what she wrote was i'm going to have to change a life. i have a life within. it was just the opposite of what she said about not thinking and not caring, not having a reflect
of consciousness about this life altering event. the book the bulk of would be the process of someone getting off welfare. a huge back and forth between the caseworker and recipient. she had been on welfare 12 years by the time she got off. she essentially had to go to a worksite to get her job. when i can getk a regular paycheck. by anyone's definition, she was a long-term hard case but was off the rolls. what i thought would be the bulk of the book is a nonevent event. it significant that does not take long to explain in the book. much of the book became about ,er post welfare experience and on a number of levels, the economics, what it meant
personally, what it meant to her personallyit meant was a surprisingly positive story. she became a nursing aid. i'd don't know if anyone here understands -- she works in a nursing home and it's eight dangerous, rough job. nursing aides get injured were often than coal miners. i had to call the bureau of legs -- of labor statistics and ask if this is true. about one in four know health insurance. one in five lives in poverty and there are is a lot of scatological humor about advance and neck kind of thing. a lot of people leave to become nursing aides. .he loved everything about it she loved the cleanliness of the nursing home compare to her house and the teamwork. patients,that
particularly the nursing home rebels who reminded her of herself. prideded the uniform and thinking and herself as a nurse. i think she had more patience or her patients and she did her kids. it brought out and empathetic street which was lovely to see. one of my favorite stories is that she's african-american and work in a nursing home where the whitewere mostly old, polish ladies. she was cleaning up a woman who at her ander is snap said get your hands off me, you you know what. on the street, she would have pulled out a knife but in this context, she laughed at the woman and said the you know what is cleaning it because you can't do it yourself and you might as well let me. she laughed it off and i asked her afterward and she said old people aren't responsible for
what they say. it brought out a wonderful woman in the us. when clinton talked about the welfare bill, he talked about how work establishes meaning in life. 's case, i could see some truth in it. less so in jewel, who's the other am and who gets off. on the meeting level, i would say her experience with a large success. on the money level, i would say it was a wash. her earnings went way up and her welfare went way down and she might have been 10% that are off after welfare than when she was on welfare, but there were so many other things going on that her progress got lost in the noise of living. when you're she might have then often the next year, her car might have broke down and it
would not have any different. what surprised me was how much economic hardship she suffered as a successful worker. ofie ranked in the top 20% women leaving the rolls in wisconsin. she was out of food more times than i can count. it as a hard to get at reporter -- if you asked a food was of problem, she would say ain't nobody going hungry round here. but the fights were mostly about food and her house. it would be 9:00 at night and people would have an argument and a fight with reg out. i found the food problem to be widespread far beyond angie. jewel, the second worker who --ns about as much as angie
job andh lost their jewel had leading ulcers. she didn't bring it up. she was eating the house with an oven. wages -- wages were being ordered -- garnished to pay the alls and i looked at her with look of astonishment and she said everyone who works owes a hospital bill. everyone is going to get their wages garnished. i was astonished she was getting her wages garnished. try to say something in the book based on to a conservative audience that they want to hear liberal audience.
when i talk to conservatives, i say i think you are right that people have worked more than liberals understood, but i think you haven't fully grappled with the thin rewards at work at the autumn of the wage scale and how much hardship persists. about in part i talk the book and probably the most important is what affect her work has on the kids. some people would say by the time angie is 30 years old and doesn't have a high school degree, she's going to have a difficult life under any circumstance. but what we want out of our experience is have her become a role model for kids and put the kids on a different trajectory. this is the place where i thought the reality departed from the script of the washington conversation. there's so much talk about working mothers being role somehow putting a
working mother in the workforce is going to change family life. it's an idea with appeal and probably lots of working parents want to believe it but it just didn't hold true for most of the single mothers i knew raising kids in these economically deprived conditions and dangerous neighborhoods. , angie takes ae woman with a drug problem and she has a four bedroom house with one bathroom. opel is dating a drug dealer, so there's a drug dealer and all the kids know he's selling drugs. another one of her friends, she has four kids and there were 17 people living in the house at one time with one bathroom. clinton used to talk about work rings social order. they did not at angie's house.
she had a boyfriend living with her that the kids really despised. there were times angie was away at work and there would either be a big fight or other times, arcus was smoking dope with the kids. rather than setting a role model, she was away, leaving him exposed to more hardships. clinton used to always tell a story about role model models -- role model mothers. he told the story about billy harden -- he must have told the story 20 times. when he was governor, a woman welfarely harden left and when he went through the program, he asked her what was the best thing out leaving welfare and she said now, when my son goes to school, and they ask what your dad does come he
can give an answer. that, more than anything, was the idealistic hope for changing the welfare system. between the time clinton told that as governor and the time he repeated as president, that son went to jail for a shooting. he's now about 30 years old and has been arrested 20 times in the last 10 years. rocklled the north little lee station trying to get his record, sing we want to track down dalton harden -- do you need is data earth and they say we've got him. -- there might be more than one -- no, we know him. are you sure you have enough tax paper? he was infamous in north little is tellingas clinton the story about how his mother's shining example had saved his life. when i came away from that social issue with -- that social
disarray, i was thinking about the importance of fathers. people talked about so often at and angie tells the story of becoming -- of becoming a nursing a, talking about her relationship of her father. she saw him for the last time right before she moved to milwaukee and hadn't him in several years and didn't know how much he had declined. he died like a month later. felt guilty and that is what made her go into this nursing home. they say they are primarily drawn to -- people are wanting to be caretakers. i had the theory in the back of my mind and she looked like she was sucking a lemon and would tell me what a ridiculous idea
it was. chooses ae daughter crosstown high school for a pre-law program because she wants to get her husband out and she's a terrible student and has asthma. it probably just exacerbated her absent tea is him that she was telling her soldiers going to become a lawyer and get her dad out of jail. angie's oldest son has all sorts of problems. let me read a short passage. this was when he is in eighth grade. did hisears of rest, so problems. he cut school and smoked a lot of weed. he found someone three years older today. angie worried with his streetwise airs and he was trying to emulate his dad and
worried he did not have the multiple it off. tos as sweet as pie but once be bad. he is a kitten, a baby, a ticking time bomb. most teachers shared his fears one calledve up, but him artistic, thorough when you want to be and praising his sense of humor. among the papers that survive is a middle school essay called a rumor mouse. yes all pointed ears and a big round body. i found him in the woods crying in a box. i came across it one day and asked why the mouse had been crying. because he was left out there by himself as someone who was supposed to be bathing and feeding him, washington and stuff wasn't doing it. why not? probably because they didn't have any to feed him and stuff. he was crying because he was sad. he stopped and looked up and in till then he said he hadn't realized he had been writing about him self.
that's about my daddy. he wasn't here. house seemed the to be about the missing father. with angie's generation. i was asked the other day whether i thought this was a hopeful story, and i do. about 20 years ago when things were bad and getting worse by every indication. wages were down, drug use was of and worse was a kind utility in the air. that weeagan's quipped fought a war on poverty and poverty one. the message was that it hopeless to even bother.
entire field was dispirited. poverty policy changed in the mid-90's and i think the well filler -- welfare bill was part of it. floated into the work place in record numbers, including angie. the policy story made some progress, the earned income tax credit, wage supplements through . rudiments of some health care for low-wage workers. there is reason to feel much more confident now than when i first heard in writing about poverty. for all the hardship left in angie's life, what a diplomat
would call a confidence building -- helping gets help dissipate cynicism about what we can or cannot accomplish, particularly in an election season. there's no excuse to not get out and help low income man -- low income in the same way we help low income women over the last 20 years. i want to conclude with a thought from the book about the notion of entitlement, which was at the center of the welfare debate eight years ago. the welfare revolution grew from the fear that the four were mired in a culture of an island, stuck in a swamp of excessive demands and social dues. there was a culture of entitlement, but it was scarcely concentrated at the bottom, as anyone following the waves of corporate scandals now knows. what really stands out is how little they felt a were owed. they went through life act entitled to nothing.
not medical care, not even three daily meals, and they scarcely complain. when welfare was there for the taking, they got on the us and took it. when it wasn't, they made other plans. in ending welfare, the country took their single largest source of income. they did not arch or riot. they made their way against the odds and to varying some underpaid jobs, and that does entitle them to something -- a shot at the american dream more promising than they received. [applause] >> robert rector is a heritage center research fellow who work with members of congress on a 1996 welfare law. he examined its impact 10 years later at an event hosted i the cato institute in washington. you can find this entire event
in our video library at c-span.org. those who have seen me at heritage's have seen that i have a consider -- considerable mount of ambivalence about this. to testify in front of congressman and then i can start to get excited about this thing again. we oughthe first thing to say is that cato, if we are talking about the success or failure reform, we talk about what are our goals. a libertarian
audience, one of the goals of you wouldform is reduce the cost and size of the welfare state, thereby reducing the amount of money you involuntarily extract from the tech payors to pay for a function with may have no constitutional basis whatsoever. in that sense, i would say this reform is modestly successful in terms of changing fundamental three, but not any great ring circus to write home about. i would say from my conservative perspective that i am more concerned about the well-being of the recipients of cells and future generations and in that sense, i think the reform was a webinger showing as things
could do in the future, in particular, showing us we can change trendlines by altering government policy, that it's not true every government program and every reform of government must always be unsuccessful. reform? welfare i would say welfare of the above all else represented a change in the philosophy of government welfare. of frankline time roosevelt and certainly from the time of lyndon johnson, the welfare system which comprises over 70 different programs was a system of permissive entitlement , a system of one-way handouts, a person in need of aid would receive aid in the form of cash, medical services, food, as a one way and out. the central idea was that was a
theidea, harmful to taxpayer, harmful to society, and harmful to the recipient and we would try to replace that with asus them of reciprocal obligation in which we would not terminate a would say we will give you assistance that we expect certain things back from you in return for that assistance. in particular, we are going to expect that if you're going to withash under families dependent children, we expect you to undertake a supervised job search or two days of training to do community service work or take a job, something like that as condition for getting eight. once you do that, you get some fairly markable -- fairly remarkable results. that type ofnce
demand, is a precondition for getting the aid. the applicants say things like if i have to do that, i might as well go out and take a job. and lo and behold, they do that. as we go through the data, you can see that affect. ae of the things you get is date keeping device because when welfare at the association, there's a group willing to take a free hand out if you are willing to shove it in their face. is we the things you get expect you to do something in return for that is you weed out the difference between those two groups and you are going to get the people looking for the handout coming into the office
with far less frequency. that enables you hopefully to focus your energies more on those in need of aid and it means there's less abuse of the taxpayer. in welfare reform, we basically had to goals in 1996. the first was to establish work requirements, not just to families with dependent children, but we had work requirements in food stamps and even in public housing to a degree and i always said most
important the, the problem with out of wedlock childbearing and the number of children born inside marriage, and i think we may have made some modest progress but certainly not everything we could have done. this is going to be a familiar chart. is the assistance to needy families caseload going back to the time of the korean war and this has already been presented -- this is essentially the same data. years, that red line did two things -- it either when flat or went up. bars are times of
economic booms. have 10 times of boom during that and can ask how many times that red line comes plummeting down, just over and over again. we have 10 times of economic boom and it went down in how many? one. what happens right here? we have welfare reform. some point out the caseload starts coming down the more what drove the caseload downward to effects. once the programmatic affect, which is we have some waivers, wisconsin is doing some stuff and we are starting to get
welfare recipients into the office, making them do things that and there's this large, symbolic effect. i would say welfare reform started the first time bill clinton said he planned to end welfare as we know it. that message got out there and hit the street and he's talking about two years and you are off. he did not been that or remotely anything like it, but it sounded like he meant it. a welfare recipient, along come these republican guys and newt gingrich is talking about putting these kids in orphanages. it sounds 30 scary. is allthink you see across the country, a behavioral value messages.
potential welfare recipients are not going to try to figure out what the participation rate is or what the sanctions system is. here the message that welfare will be time limited and there's an expect tatian you're supposed to work rather than spend a lifetime on welfare and you seem to see an across-the-board response. on,and it don't was early we got feedback from late in 97, about four months after the act is passed. the welfare director was saying our caseload is going through the floor and we haven't done anything. he said do you know why this is happening mark it because all
these left-wing activist groups are in the community telling people those horrible republicans have passed welfare reform. they are going to throw you off in two years. it's going to be awful. everybody said holy toledo, i better get my act together. they are not going to support me forever, so the caseload begins to go down very rapidly in response to those symbolic messages. in that case, the symbolic message was unrelated to any actual policy going on. beot of this decline can attributed to these types of symbolic messages that are taken very seriously to any action programs, but i will say if you look at the line going down, you find consistently that those
states that are most rigorous in insisting the individual must engage in construct of behavior, must be in the office and must be supervised, they would have a much more rapid caseload decline and are leaving a larger part of caseload untouched. all and all, what you have is what i would call a great philosophical victory. if you were to go back from all the way to write here, 1965, right up to the present time, in homes all across america, we have the thanksgiving dinner debate, talking about welfare and the will joe says if you just made these welfare recipients go out and take a job but they would not be sitting there collect and all that welfare.
thisarles and i have it in field for a long time, if you oppose all of the liberal welfare experts, they would say how ridiculous. what a primitive notion when we know that in fact there are no jobs had. time, we pass this in 93 and the prevailing wisdom was you could reduce the caseload perhaps by 5% over three years. were doing this, it was dropping at 5% a month but it violated all the prevailing liberal wisdom about what you could do. what you have is a strong philosophical victory for the ideas that incentives matter, if you change the system by reducing the utility of thing on welfare, you get a large
behavioral response. down, weaseload goes on andmillion families it's down to 2 million families. all of those families were automatically poor with incomes below the poverty level. income. not cash as those families go off welfare or didn't enter it at all, they never came into the office in the first lace, employment of single mothers surges in an unprecedented way and a large number of others were off welfare and you get a poverty of fact. what we have is the poverty status of black children going back to 1970 and what you can see is that for 25 years prior
to welfare reform, the black child poverty weight is flat. never gets a bit it 1995, is 40's and by slightly higher than it was in 1970. 25 years under the conventional war on poverty and black child poverty, the primary liberal goal for these policies is no net change, no gain what so ever. along come the mean-spirited republicans who are going to throw children out in the street, who will have kids starving in the snow and what happens? this thing goes down and down. in the 90's, black child poverty was hitting a new record low, surprisingly for reasons i can't
imagine, this was never covered in the "new york times" or "washington post." if this had then a result of a liberal administration, there would be a nobel prize. this happened because we got tough and we were mean-spirited -- not really, but it was the result of a conservative policy. we have clearly shifted the baseline of what poverty is if you look at poverty among single mothers. illegitimacy ratio and charles murray and i believe this is a much more significant variable and one that we struggled hard to get into without a considerable amount of
success. of yellow is the number births outside of marriage. at the beginning, drowned 7% and i been 1990's, it risen by 34%. one of the things i work on strongly in welfare of them was policies thate would force a discussion of this issue because this is the underlying cause of welfare dependence, child policy, and the underclass. we only date -- a great deal of gratitude to then congressman jim talent who worked for years to try to put this in two public discussion with a considerable amount of the republican party saying this topic is not discuss the ball, throw this away. i think there has been a
substantial shift and this is the same illegitimacy ratio starting in 1965 with senator moynahan describing this as some drawn by a ruler, going up by one percentage year. beginstime this reform symbolically and we talk about does toelfare, the line go over. at the prior rate of increase line, in the red dotted we have over 40% of children being born out of wedlock. i think it's about 1.5 ilion fewer children being born out of a block and i think that is a notable thing. this is not the result of any specific policy, because they
were supposed to address this issue. effect ofe symbolic saying it is time-limited and you are expected to some were yourself did cause an alteration in this behavior as well. our challenge is to put it into our blueline and even downward. and on -- what are the pros of welfare of? girl, you have been put on the intellectual defensive i welfare reform. we have not seen much expansion. in terms of new programs and new initiatives, the welfare reform is focused on the behavioral roots of poverty and independence rather than simply throwing money at the problem. we have demonstrated the effectiveness of core
conservative ideas concerning reciprocal obligation. we have had these rather dramatic declines in one program and we have had these declines in poverty. he did have around the time of welfare reform a significant increase in the debate of out of it is achildbearing and principal goal of the act that was not carried out. provisionssed new that i think will begin to produce an interesting pioneer program to deal with that key issue in the future. what are the cons of welfare reform? we have 50 means tested federal welfare programs. we have a with families to dependent children and food stamps, public housing, the
ardennes come tax credit and on and on. are completely untouched in their pristine war on poverty forms. atated to that, if you look they serveprograms, the same clientele as aid to families with dependent children , so the form is much more limited than anyone imagines. we did not reform the welfare state. we reformed the one most visible program there. great deal of a energy about reforming welfare in the 90's. all of that has passed, so we have lost the momentum to do future reform. act on thedid not goal of reducing illegitimacy as
they were supposed to under the act. the issue of male use, we need to get into. in the summer of 94, when the contract for america was passed, the republicans were about to assume the majority and house of representatives, iron member meeting newt gingrich, just running into him in front of the capital, talking about welfare provisions and i said the one thing you did not get in there that is the most important is work for welfare recipients -- that's ok. a major schools choice provision that would putw underclass children to their kids in religious schools if that's what they wanted. that will do far more for the underclass that all of this work fear stuff will. he said i couldn't get that
through the party. we will have to do that in the future. 10 years later, we are still waiting on those massive values transformations that will be necessary to deal with the underclass issues. >> up next on our special presentation, a sociology professor discusses her "flat this ish children." about half an hour. >> the cultural logic of welfare laws has always been connected to family and work life. established asst part of the new deal legislation in 1935, the idea was you would follow the model, the traditional model of family life, imagining a proper
breadwinning husband and caregiving white -- caregiving life. state would step in to take the place a father in caring for mother and children. that law remained in place. until the 1996 personal responsibility act. the most widely reckoned knives message is that women should work. they areatter if mothers or if they have kids to most workinge women in society today, they should manage both the work and care of their children. these work requirements are given realties by the federal , it limits after five years is expected all were mothers will become self-sufficient and, even if they are not, they will
be left without any form of government support. in thinking about this, is the law saying breadwinners are simply a thing of the past and we should think of women as perfectly capable of caring for not only themselves but there -- their children? this is where i started and seemed funny to me. since this pronouncement occurs at the same time these scholars are expressing a tremendous amount of ambivalence about others in the paid labor force of childcare,ms the time crunch at home and the conservatives concerned about the decline of family values. feel aboute law these problems? mothers should work
is not the only message you find in reform. the personal responsibility act begins marriage is the successful foundation of society, it is a institution that promotes the interests of children, the promotion of responsible fatherhood and motherhood is integral to the well-being of children. the legislation goes on to condemn single-parent thing, deadbeat dads, women who live on the dole. to the personal responsibility act is a restatement of new and rich's contract for america. in fact, built-in to welfare andrm are two visions publicly, i call these the work plan and family plan. privately and for you, i will
call them bill's plan and new to newt's land. in his plan, we make sure that we jail the deadbeat dad, we train people in absence education and by forcing women to work out oh wage jobs and are realizing they cannot afford to raise children on such jobs, they will ultimately learn if not this generation, then why the next of robert choice for women is to get married and stay married. what do these two visions look like?
how do they play out inside the world of welfare and what are the possibilities were realizing that are i have to say something about the group that is most readily targeted by this law and i know many of you know, but i will just repeat myself. welfare clients are a very particular social welfare group. there were 12 million at the inception of welfare reform and there are approximately 5 million today. these people are desperately poor. they live under half of the federal standards for poverty and most have no income at all. the adults in this group are overwhelmingly women, 90%, and nos is no accident. it is mere historical footnote. and theysingle parents are disproportionately nonwhite.
these linkages are not coincidental. most parent families today are headed by women. single-parent families are disproportionately poor and nonwhite families are at greater risk for those poverty and parenthood. what we see in welfare reform is what has been called the feminization of poverty, the racial is asian of poverty, the juvenile is asian of poverty. children outnumber adults by a ratio of more than two to one. at the inception of welfare reform, one in eight children in the united states was supported by a welfare check. thisciologists, we know group of people are desperately poor, not simply because of
individual choices, but as a result of systematic, structured in a quality that makes the poor women, children and disproportionately nonwhite. we think about the structure of welfare, we can think about it as the result of four largest auric factors. first of all, discrimination in reference to race and rising income inequality in american society so we hold the place of being the nation that has the widest gap between rich and poor and then, statistically from my point of view, you can look at ofs population as a result revolutionary changes in work and family life.
what you see in work life is a dramatic decline in the number of people who are able to earn what was once called a breadwinning wage -- a wage high enough to support a family. in family life, what you see is the number of women going out to -- the number of families where you must seek outside help for caregiving, and this has also been connected to a rise in single parenting. that is your background. as noted,oing? single-parent households are the representatives of not just inequality, but massive change in work and family life. they are the poorest of all
america's citizens. when we think about the possibilities, we should recognize that all women who are single-parent have a hard time managing, but this particular group 10 to be poorly educated, poorly trained, with background in only low skill jobs. they are also much more likely than the rest of the population to suffer from physical and mental health disabilities and as many as half are the victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse. all of these factors combine to make it unlikely that these mothers with on average two children will be able to raise their families outside of poverty. in our retail, 40% do not have high school diplomas. 60% do not test above the eighth
grade level. the educational testing institute, something with which most of you are familiar -- you don't inc. of them as a leading heart liberal organization have ported 70% of people on welfare rolls do not have the skill levels necessary to get the kinds of jobs that would support a family of three. so what happens inside the welfare office? the single clearest message is the message of work. efforts appear to reference toward this end. in one office, the first thing 12 see is a large red banner feet long, three feet high reading "how many months do you have left? underneath that is a list think
of the jobs. forklift, edition, operator -- in most cases, the wage rates are not lifted. you must get a job soon and accept whatever wages you can get. this is not just encouragement by ark, it is backed up series of stringent requirements. it is also back up by a series of supportive services, what are called supportive services, all created by welfare reform. these include healthy childcare and sometimes for rent and utility payments, all of this designed to help where pharrell -- welfare mothers get started against each of hardships. all of the work requirements
back by rigid rules -- all clients have to sign an oath of responsibility now -- vowing to commit them selves to the goal of self-sufficiency. theirrst meeting with women worker, they are given an intelligence test and they are told to begin a job search, but not to commence immediately. conduct hot -- contact and a must attend life skill classes where they are told to dress for the interview manage to handle stress, childcare, how to speak proper english rather than street slang and what kind of job would be best for them. they must also continue to meet with their women counselor can tenuously.
depending on what is chosen, they will go into a work placement program. the training programs in our retail looks like ged, computer nursing assistant, cooks helper, childcare and even a training course for aspiring guestroom attendance, otherwise known as hotel maids. if the training programs did not give mothers and to work fast enough, they were placed in a ,ork fair placement, sweeping picking up trash, working in cafeterias, telephone operators, kitchen help. sense of the nature of these jobs. you are simply working in return
for your welfare checks. if you should fail in any of these tasks, you will receive a sanction. this is important. 20% to 30% of welfare clients are sanctioned at any given time. ofs is the primary way punishing poor mothers for their daily or to live up to the rules of welfare reform. this sanction rate is twice as high as it was prior to reform and being sanctioned is the hardest status of all. you lose your welfare benefits, yet at the same time, you lose the month toward your lifetime benefit amount. most of the welfare mothers i met came to fear being effective -- a very form of keeping them in line. overall, the message of paid work is a very powerful message.
self-sufficiency for welfare mothers? you know theof answer to this. you can guess you don't know. of catherine so clearly demonstrates, the and theof low-wage work additional cost that comes with thatage work often means although you look like you have a higher level of an come, in fact, you end up with more material hardship than when on welfare. welfarens inside the office of those women considered the success story, that there ,re women who are off the rolls
i guess how many of you are readers of the open quote new way times" -- the primary welfare reform success has been defined through the welfare rolls. the so-called success stories of welfare reform look little different than what we might call failures. i will give you a few quick examples. andrea makes five dollars 75 our. she has three kids. she pays $450 a month or housing $275 for food. this leaves her with $50 month to cover close, transportation, medical, childcare, laundry, school costs, furniture, appliances, including splice. this doesn't count cable television or cigarettes. she cannot make it.
her kids do not have the proper shoes. her oldest wants a new outfit for the school year. they have turned off her phone. cannot pay her rent this month. she's one of the success stories of welfare reform. ask forcontinued to this so-called traditional support offered by the welfare office in terms of transportation and childcare needs tohe otherwise leave her children home alone. .hat support is time-limited she's already greatly in debt and has used up two years toward her lifetime limits on welfare. then, there is maria. maria had five jobs last year. she keeps changing them in hopes of finding something better, that will raise or above the poverty line.
she has done housekeeping for a large corporation, she worked at working on taco bell, she did housekeeping in a local hotel. housekeeping still pays the best. she is making seven dollars an hour, but she hates it. it is hard and dirty work. it's hard on her back her coworkers slack off and she has to pick up the extra. she does not take enough to make ends meet and she cannot quit because none of the other jobs pay as well. sandy, our last success story, having good job. was-- i love sandy -- she especially happy to be working at the salvation army because it gave her a sense she was helping disadvantaged people like yourself. she she worked the night shift.
wasn't making enough without continued help or thought maybe she could get a raise for a second job. one of her brothers shot and killed the other brother. that meant one brother was dead, the other was on his way to prison. no one in the welfare office knows where she is which is off the welfare rolls. the problem for many mothers is not finding a job but getting a job that pays enough to get the and isout of poverty flexible enough to manage the contingencies of raising kids. the odds of finding that job and keeping it if you are low skilled with two kids to care for are not good.
so maybe -- if this does not work out so well, maybe you could hope that welfare mothers will find themselves a good man who will pay the bills and help with the childcare. life could be better. it turns out that statistically speaking, finding a good man and married him is a really good way to get off welfare. -- marrying him is a really good way to get off welfare. what is the welfare office doing to promote this? you see little with daily values at the welfare office. children are constant presence. caseworkers often play with them. try to calm those who are unhappy. the welfare office often look to me like a big family reunion without the men.
where is the message of family in welfare reform? it is -- are you staying awake? ok. it is in the antiabortion bonus, the abstinence education programs. the prosecution of statutory rapists. the provision of childcare funding and above all, the paternity and child support enforcement system meant to go after deadbeat dads. just briefly, the law offers a $10 million illegitimacy antiabortion bonus to the states that can bring down the number of children born without raising the abortion rate. you know that. it did not work out quite the way they hoped.
nowhere in the law is there the slightest hint of funding for birth control. there is $50 million for the support of abstinence education programs across the nation to target those populations were most at risk. -- who are most at risk. who are most at risk. it is meant to teach the social and psychological methods of abstinence. -- benefits of abstinence. the law offers funding for programs that enforce and promote the enforcement of statutory rape laws. it refers to the problem of young women that need to be protected against predatory older men.
then the law brings with it some good news. what looks like good news. a massive influx of child care dollars. this is good news. there is no question that women who are trying to manage on low-wage jobs need the help in childcare funding. the problem is that less than one third of welfare families nationwide actually get help and less than 1/7 of the low income families were technically eligible for federal childcare subsidies are actually receiving them. this is because the federal government keeps running out of money. in fact, as it turns out, this is not a big surprise because it is about twice as expensive to subsidize the childcare for welfare mothers as it is to simply give them their welfare check. hence, most welfare mothers don't get the subsidies.
i would love to tell you about the family cap but we don't have time for that. the paternity requirements of the child support system. here is the one place on the surface that we see men in the law. the personal responsibility act. it seemed sensible on the surface that those fathers failing to pay child support for their children and their children end up definitely poor, make some sense they should be helping. -- makes some sense they should be helping. they are themselves poor men. large numbers of poor fathers are now in jail and prison for
their child support arears. many low income men now owe 10-40,000 dollars in child support and the annual incomes are $6,000 a year. their failure to pay that means they are in prison. the child support enforcement system for many low income people has meant that more and more men simply going to hiding to escape the child enforcement authorities. this is not because they are bad men, it is because they can make no income if they are jailed.
so, for many low income women, they recognize this and are reluctant to follow through on child support enforcement. according to the personal responsibility act, if they do not, they will be sanctioned off the welfare rolls. and there are women afraid to comply. we will leave that aside. the attempt to create a sustainable life through the rules and regulations of the welfare office so far have not been highly successful. actually, just a couple of days ago, there was a debate on npr with a conservative from the family relations council who believed that the real solution was the continued marriage promotion effort that are now working their way through the u.s. senate. the idea that marriage would be more systematically promoted within the welfare office is a solution that you can think
about some yourself. overall, the result of welfare reform thus far has been discouraging for those of us who were hoping that it might actually help low income families. what we have seen with the decline of the welfare rolls is that two thirds of mothers no longer on welfare are nonetheless still living in poverty with their children. large numbers of former welfare recipients have simply this appeared off the radar screen. no one can track their fate. they really end up in those national statistical renderings. they do seem to show up in national studies on cities and
states across the nation that are now going to the federal government begging for more money because their homeless populations and their hungry populations continue to grow at an alarming rate. so, if you look at the reality of welfare reform, over time i suggest that although it will creep up on us slowly, we will see in the long run is increasing rates of homelessness, poverty, hunger, an ever greater strain on the working poor, increased children in foster care, on the streets or living in substandard living conditions. higher crime rates. hybrids of drug abuse.
more prostitution. rising numbers of people in mental hospitals and prisons. all of this will be trackable over the next 10 years. armadale caseworkers already noted the rise of foster care children. mother is not able to support their children simply give them to the foster care system. sunbelt city, the clients report to make rising rates of hunger, drug abuse, prostitution and crime among former welfare mothers. what does this tell us about the possibilities for creating real solutions to problems in work and family life today? to the extent that welfare reform offers a vision of full
gender equality for the promise of women independent from both men and miserly employers has been a dismal failure. i think of the promise of women independent and women citizenship that my mother who i grew up with, that middle-class women had seen in a lifetime that young college women now expect. the real possibilities of women independent rum middle-class women have in some ways come with the cost of the difficulties in women independence for the poor.
in thinking about what real solutions -- to think about what welfare mothers themselves told me, on the one hand the welfare recipients i met longed to be full-fledged members of the public sphere. they want to work, they want to achieve self-sufficiency. they want to achieve what ph marshall called social citizenship. they regularly interpret the cultural message of welfare reform as the possibility that women could be independent and self-sufficient. it is a message that includes women independence not just from a welfare check it also from women independence from men. at the same time though, most of
them also offer a second side to their dreams of a future. they long to be in two parent middle-class families. many of them have children to create the families of the dreams. the notion of being independent from them is not the same as being separated. instantly means that they want to be able to survive -- it simply means they want to be able to survive on their own terms. the kind of struggle that is embedded in these two visions is a struggle that is faced by many americans today. >> now the final portion of our
program marketing 20 anniversary of the iq 96 welfare law. the speaker is ron haskins a brookings institution. he worked on the law as a congressional staffer. he discussed efforts to reduce poverty at a senate finance committee hearing. if you missed any portion of this program, you can watch it in its entirety on our website c-span.org. >> i included a figure in my testimony. it has to be surprising. we made no progress is 1975. the poverty rate among the elderly is the most likely to be poor and is lower than for children. those are two exceptionally important facts.
we need to buckle down and figure out what to do about poverty and concentrate on children. between the state and federal government, we spend about a trillion dollars on these programs. this number has increased almost every year since 1965. the idea that we are not spending enough money is probably incorrect. we should be spending it -- it may not be focused on the poor. some of the programs may be unsuccessful. we're spending a lot of money. a lot of that is on health care. 45% of it. that is where congress decided to spend the money. the nation has made a great commitment to helping the poor. it increases every year. third issue, the causes. four are especially important. the first is work rates. the long-term decline of work among males. the work rate among young black males, before the rescission, we
have a real problem with male employment. for reasons that are not clear. females, the opposite. they work more. married women had joined the labor force. never married mothers. the poorest group of mothers have had a spectacular increase in employment and even today, the likelihood that they have a job is greater, about 20% and it was before welfare reform. that group is working a lot. wages. these are astounding. our wages at the 10th percentile and below our where they were 30 years ago. it is hard to make progress against poverty as we are always going to have temper sent of people below the 10%.
as long as wages there don't increase, no matter what we do, it is a real problem. if they work full-time as a minimum wage, they will not be out of poverty. family composition is the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. it is the biggest cause of poverty. we have had a huge increase with poverty rates for five times the rate they married couple families. about 70% of black children, 45% of white children, born outside of marriage. the probability of being poverty is very high. education is a very big issue. i would say that our educational system at the preschool level, k-12 and post secondary needs a lot of work. i would not say it is a joy. i think the most promising is fiscal. a key strategies to fight poverty. personal response ability is key. -- responsibility is key.
if people don't make better decisions, we are still going to have a big problem if people don't make choices. we have to do something about people's decisions to drop out of school, decisions to work, decisions to get married. the first strategy is give them money. that is what we did with the elderly. we have a low elderly poverty rate as a result of social security. that strategy will not work for young able-bodied americans because americans don't think able-bodied people to get welfare. the second strategy is to do everything possible to encourage and force people to work and subsidize their income. this is a highly bipartisan solution. work requirements and very generous work support. medicaid, income tax credit, childcare.
we have passed at least 40 pieces of legislation to make our system of means-tested benefits more friendly to working families. the two other strategies -- we need to emphasize work and maintain the work support system. the child tax credit. the two other things i mentioned, education. we should focus on preschool. we have very strong data that high-quality preschool can make a big difference. i think our childcare l.a. spend -- childcare that we spend, we can improve the quality. we have lots of strategies.
we can reduce teen pregnancy. we have strategies. we have a number of programs including more coverage of comprehensive family-planning services and mass advertising campaigns and teen pregnancy programs. if we spend more money, we would reduce nonmarital birth rates. thank you, mr. chairman. >> as we wrap up this look at the 1996 welfare laws, 20 years later, we're joined again by matt from the washington post. max from the washington post. it is reported that hillary
clinton support for the 1996 welfare reform hurt her relationship. what might we see from the president hillary clinton on the welfare issue? >> it was very controversial at the time she signed it. he resigned from his position in the clinton administration and protest. there was some acrimony between the first lady and her mentor at the time. as to what the clintons policies would be if she were elected -- hillary clinton's policies would be if you were elected, it is difficult to say.
she has said she would like to increase the federal minimum wage which could improve wages for people who are working by not making their much money. she has also said she would like to limit expenses on childcare to about 10% of any family's income. as a result, people with very little in the way of income would have substantial subsidies from the federal government in order to make sure the kids are taken care of while they are working. that policy would help make ends meet. >> it donald trump wins the election, what could we see out of a trump administration? >> of course, donald trump positions on these issues have changed. it is difficult to predict his policies. however, donald trump and paul ryan have indicated some willingness to cooperate on these issues. paul ryan has a number of very detailed ideas on how the country's public assistance program should be reported in paul ryan is able to convince donald trump to take an interest in his ideas and you can imagine that donald trump might propose -- endorsed paul ryan's proposal to turn over major public assistance programs to state governments. paul ryan argued that given the
-- that giving the states control of how these programs are administered would allow the states to solve the problems that people in poverty expense -- experience on a daily basis. the states have a unique perspective. on the other side, democrats tend to oppose paul ryan's idea of creating a block grant in turning that money over to the states because they do not trust state officials to administer the money in a way that is bare -- fair and puts the interests of america's poor first. >> who else is driving this? >> that is a very good question. one has to mention senator bernie sanders who ran unsuccessfully as a candidate
the democratic presidential nomination. in addition to that, one might mention some other liberal members of congress such as rosa delauro and others. it does remain to be seen. the composition of the congress next year will be different. who will be a leader and who will remain in their seats are questions still. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. may, when ouram democratic colleagues asked us to act, and with urgency.
today, they turned down the money they argued for last may, and they decided to gamble with the lives of children like this, instead of protecting them. they ignored their own calls to get this done quickly, and they have refused to pass urgent measures that would protect the country from a public health crisis. as i said when i started, this is a test today to see whether our democratic colleagues cared more about babies like this or special-interest groups, and they failed the test. planned parenthood, an organization where hundreds of thousands of women go for their care. do you think they will have a rush of business now?
women in america want to make sure they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because these mosquitoes ravage pregnant women. friend,e logic of my the republican leader, they don't need to go to planned parenthood. they can go to their boutique dr. somewhere in las vegas, or chicago -- boutique doctor, someplace in las vegas or chicago. they can go to an emergency room and say, i'm sorry, i did not get birth control. can you help me? that is what emergency rooms are for. no, that is what planned parenthood is for. that is where the majority of women go when they need help. under the legislation we got from the house, there is more money to be provided -- no money to be provided for that. preview of the a
issues congress will debate when they return from recess. we will feature a key floor debate at an update with "washington examiner" seasonal correspondent susan ferruccio. gary johnson was a guest on this morning's "fox news sunday." he was asked what it would take for him to be a participant in the presidential debates. johnson: they have identified five polls. that is an increase of 4% consensus. that is up. we're optimistic that we will get into the debates. we're spending money in five states right now where i am at 16%. i'm optimistic. >> this brings us to phase two.
that is to bring both -- to keep clinton and trump from reaching the majority of 270 electoral votes. throw the race into the house of representatives where you say you could win. in that case, each state gets one vote. how does that happen? johnson: the object is to win outright. it's not impossible with the polarization of clinton and trump that we might run the table. i'm talking about me and bill weld, two former republican governors reelected in heavily democratic states. i don't think there is an argument that we didn't make a difference. that we areo that skeptical about intervening militarily to institute a regime
change that has made a less safe world. i think 60% of americans have that philosophical belief. >> c-span continues on the road to the white house. ms. clinton: we need serious leadership. this is not a reality tv show. this is as real as it gets. mr. trump: we will make america great again! >> live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates. september 26 is the first presidential debate live from hofstra university in new york. governory, october 4, mike pence and senator tim kaine debate in virginia. on october 9, washington and st. louis.